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Relative pronouns (French: les pronoms relatifs) in general aim to replace a noun antecendt, but are also used to introduce a new clause which gives information about the antecedent.
In the French language we differ between:
Qui functions as the subject of the clause and can refer to either a person or a thing. In general it can be translated with who, which or that. However qui can also be used in proverbs to replace celui qui as well as in certain obsolete idiomatic expression.
Que is utilized as the direct object of a clause and can also refer to persons or things.
It can be translated with whom, which or that and in some cases also is used to replace où after certain expressions of time.
Pay attention when you have to use que in front of a vowel because in this case it has to be transformed to qu'.
Auquel is used when the antecedent is a thing. In most cases it can be translated with which.
Furthermore it's utilized when the prepositions à and lequel are preceded. Below you find an overview about the different forms of auquel.
Dont is used to refer to persons or things and can be translated with whose, of (about) which, of (about) whom.
This pronoun can only be used when it immediately follows the noun to which it refers. If the noun is followed by a prepositional phrase, de plus lequel has to be used.
Note that the relative pronoun dont cannot be followed by a possessive adjective.
Lequel is used after a preposition and usually refers to things or persons. It can be translated with which and has to agree with the antecedent. Especially after parmi and entre the forms of lequel are obligatory to use if you are referring to persons.
Ce qui in general is used as the subject of the clause when there is no antecedent. It can be translated with what or that which.
Ce que in comparison to ce qui, is used as the object of a verb in a relative clause when there is no antecedent. It also can be translated with what or that which.
Ce dont can be translated with what or that and is generally used before expressions that require the preposition de.
Quoi is used after prepositions and has no antecedent. It can also be translated with what or that.
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